Saturday, July 26, 2014

Might John P.Jackson have been right in thinking the frontal and dorsal images of the Man on the Turin Shroud are subtly different? Different imprinting configurations ("LOTTO" v "LUWU")?

For background, see the post preceding this one, and the 200+ from this blogger that preceded that.

You see, thinking evolves as one experiments and collects accumulates more data, one's own and occasionally other people's.

Early on, here on this site, I proposed that the TS image was produced by heating a hot metal template, in the form of a naked man with hands crosses over groin, and then pressing into linen that was placed over a sand bed or similar (layers of sacking etc|. I didn’t give that technology a name, but will now. Let’s call it LUWU (pronounced loo-woo), short for Linen Underneath With Underlay.

Mark 1 "LUWU" method of imprinting from a heated metal template (Linen Underneath, With Underlay)

Later I began to have doubts as to whether the image so produced was a good enough match to the real TS. The scorch marks had well-defined edges, in contrast to the fuzzier image one sees on the TS. Might there have been a subtler way of deploying the template, while still retaining the idea of a contact imprint? 

Mark 2 "LOTTO" method of imprinting (Linen On Top, Then Overlay)

Thus was born the reversal of the initial technology, in which the hot template was laid onto a hard, heat-resistant surface, covered with linen, then an overlay, and the two layers (linen and overlay) then moulded with hands around the contours of the relief for a minute or two, using conducted heat (and discomfort) to signal when it’s time to stop. That methodology was given a name (LOTTO - Linen On Top, Then Overlay).

Since communicating these thoughts, I’ve tried to keep an open mind as to which of the two methods, LUWU v LOTTO, best fits the facts, i.e. the fine details of the TS image that one can explore with the magnificent Shroud Scope, especially the as-is Durante 2002 images, usually with some ad hoc adjustments to contrast and brightness with standard photo-editing software.

There are actually 4 possibilities to consider: 

1. Both frontal and dorsal imprinted separately with LUWU. 

2. Both frontal and dorsal imprinted separately with LOTTO. 

3. Use of LOTTO to imprint frontal surface v LUWU to imprint dorsal. 

 4. Use of LUWU to imprint frontal surface v LOTTO to imprint dorsal.

So which of those 4 scenarios, if any, can be said to give the best fit to the facts?  See the previous posting  with its 10 point listing of image features that make the case for the TS being a contact image, with no attempt initially to differentiate between the two imprinting configurations.

But look at the tail-end of that posting where I recalled that John P. Jackson, founder member of the STURP team, relates what he describes as his  “collapsing cloth” theory that merited a second look, despite this scientist’s candidly stated aversion to Jackson’s brand of “theoscience”.

Through googling, I discovered that Stephen Jones had persuaded John Jackson to place an account of his 1991 thoughts on his site, with Jackson’s caveat that his ‘theological’ thinking was not static. Fine, but facts are facts, and were there useful facts to be mined? Answer: a glorious yes, since Jackson had not only spotted what he thought was a difference between the frontal and dorsal imprints, which in itself was a windfall, but went a step further in suggesting that the dorsal imprint had some of the character to be expected of one produced by DIRECT PHYSICAL CONTACT between a body and linen, as distinct from the two being separated by an air gap, requiring some kind of radiation to produce an image (with no assurance that such radiation exists, at least in the world of conventional, non-miracle-requiring science).

Jackson’s grounds for believing the frontal v dorsal images were of different character, and my attempts to check that out with Shroud Scope, will be added to this posting later as an addendum.

For now, all I wish to say is that, thanks to the second pair of eyes seeing at least some evidence for contact-imaging (even if Jackson no longer holds to that view, which would be his prerogative) I’m now in a position, after carefully reviewing all the image characteristics again under Shroud Scope, to choose between those 4 options listed above.

I believe the TS image was made by contact-imprinting from some kind of template leaving some kind of superficial thermal, or maybe thermochemical image on the surface of the linen, and that it was done using Method No.3 in the above list, i.e. LOTTO for the frontal image, LUWU for the dorsal.

Note that it would be possible to imprint both sides in the one session, i.e. by placing the template face side up on the linen, and pressing down into the underlay for LUWU imprinting of the dorsal side, and then bringing the surplus linen round through 180 degrees at the head end to imprint the frontal surface with gentle manual moulding of cloth to contours using LOTTO. (Insertion of a wet pad or similar would have been needed to explain why the top of the TS head was not imaged - no doubt a conscious decision for keeping the two images separate while correctly spaced).

Here again are Jackson’s own words, from Jones’s site and my previous posting, with bolding of the key passages that allowed my own thoughts finally to crystallize.

“There are certain similarities between these images, for example, in color; however, there are noteworthy dissimilarities as well. The frontal image, appears as a blended, continuous shading structure that, as we have seen, contains a correlation with presumed cloth-body distance. The dorsal image, on the other hand, is discontinuous in shading and has a mosaic-like appearance; see Figure l b. We see, in particular, that the shoulder region is bounded by a sharp, discontinuous change in intensity. However, running through this boundary, is a pattern of scourge marks. Since these marks contain dried blood material, they could only have been placed onto the cloth by direct contact. Accordingly, if the body image was correlated with cloth-body distance over the same several centimeter range deduced for the frontal image, the sharp discontinuity would not have occurred. Rather, we would have observed, at most, a blended intensity variation from the base of the shoulders to a several percent lower intensity in the small of the back. Instead, we see a complete and abrupt dropout of intensity at the base of the shoulders into the lower back region. Thus, the dorsal image has an intensity structure more like a direct contact image than one that is correlated with cloth-body distances over centimeter range as for the frontal image.

More later.

It's  now later. Here's a comparison of frontal v dorsal chest/top of back from Shroud Scope at top magnification in both cases, in my favoured high-contrast settings.

Frontal chest (left) v corresponding dorsal region (top of back etc) on the right.
There seems to be some difference in overall image intensity (dorsal  being slightly darker) and maybe some difference in speckled character (sand underlay in LUWU?????), but I don't see the "moasic" character of the dorsal image that JPJ refers to. But he did not have access to Durante 2002 images in 1991, and may have been working from Enrie negatives (1931) or what he saw in Turin in 1978 when he  able to view the TS directly.

I'll repeat the above exercise with Enrie negatives, and if that doesn't yield a result, maybe call in on Turin, pretending to be there to service the air-excluding, argon-preservation unit ("we've discovered a small contamination issue that can be quickly remedied").  More later

Later again:

Here's a comparison of the Enrie pictures (from Shroud Scope) with added contrast and brightness.

Enrie frontal TS chest region (left) v corresponding dorsal (top back) right.
 As with all graphics on this site, one can click once or twice on the image to enlarge.

Nope,  I still don't see a difference in character. But I'm not rejecting JPJ's observation either, far from it. Maybe it's visible in the pictures that accompanied his 91 paper. Time to take another look.

 The online version on the Jones site refers to Figs 1a and 1b.

Maybe it's the quality of reproduction, but as much as I'd like to see the reported difference in image character (mosaics on dorsal side etc) I personally do not. The presence of all those scourge marks, which are not body image but blood we are told, does not help when trying to look body image alone.

More later.

Here are two images that are of interest. The first is a brass rubbing of that of an unknown man and wife, the subject of a letter to the Daily Telegraph in Jan 2009

Has anyone ever thought of performing a tone reversal on that image, to get a better idea not only of the 'look' of the original brass template, but of the couple themselves (recalling that viewing human beings as brass replicas does not always do them justice).

Well, I have, and here's the result:

Straightaway, they look more life-like.

How does that image respond in 3D-enhancement programs?

 Purpose of exercise: medieval (and modern folk too) are quite happy to take their brass rubbings, and see them for what they are - negative replicas that have an unusual quality, no longer life-like, but interestingly different. Few if any will feel a need to do what I have just done, using 20th/21st century  technology, simply to get more life-like images of the original subjects.

Have just reported this little exercise as a comment on

July 26, 2014 at 5:24 pm
“My essential point was, not so much that this medieval forger, probably unknowingly, had succeeded in achieving the equivalent of a 19th century photographic negative, (why he thought such a process might have any 14th century value, we can only guess) but that using an inorganic template, it turned out that this negative was recognisable in the 19th-20th century as a real human being, and not a template at all! Mirabile dictu!”
Yes, but negative images that look scarcely life- like can have a value in themselves (e.g. brass rubbings) and, if one so desires, be tone-reversed to get a better idea of the initial template’s appearance and even the subject as they may have looked in life (or shortly thereafter).
Here’s a comparison I have just done, based on a rubbing from a mid-14th century brass.

The message is simple: just because one can transform a negative image from medieval times to a more human- like positive does not make one obliged to attach any significance to the before-and-after-images. It’s all in the processing, not the personalities.

Update: 27 July

I had been thinking of making a full frontal assault today on the 'cloth-body distance' concept that is now so firmly rooted in Shroud literature. I was going to summarise all the evidence from close scrutiny of Shroud Scope images, and conclude by saying that the TS image is a CONTACT-ONLY image (maybe softened with a little convection gases), and that it's definitely not an image that has been projected across air gaps, as per the radiation scenarios much beloved of shroudology.

But then I discovered through googling that I was saying all these things some 18 months ago, and nobody took a blind bit of notice.

Is agenda-driven ‘theophysics’ the real reason why John Jackson’s Shroud Center of Colorado is STILL pushing its ne’er- do- well radiation model?

Maybe it's the naming names (in titles) that gets backs up (or makes them hide behind the sofa). Heck, I get my name emblazoned across blog titles all the time, and 9 times out of 10 the accompanying text has targeted me for thinking unacceptable thoughts about shroud authenticity and/or the purveyors of shroud authenticity.

Anyway, just to remind folk what's at stake, here are two images from other people's modelling of the Shroud's cloth-body relationships. One I accept, because it shows cloth needing to conform closely to the contours of the "body", or as I would prefer to say "template", while in the other it fails to do so, showing large air gaps across which I say there can be no imaging.

See my earlier postings on the matter of the neck region.

Here's a summary diagram, redone with some (hopefully) clearer labels:

Update: 28 July  In a long and some might think excessively wordy posting by Yannick Clement on we learn that Raymond Rogers also acknowledged that the dorsal side image had more of a 'contact character'. It will take a while to negotiate the many prolix passages to find the key sentences, a task I do not relish. For now I'm simply flagging up the new find. Please be patient

Update: July 29 pm

I've just been given a mild reprimand (yet again) for changing the subject on my blog through use of addendums.

To reiterate: this is my blog, my space, and it's not for other bloggers to act as style police.

The blogger in question has in fact ignored the main content of this posting, the one in the title (LOTTO v LUWU) and chosen to nitpick on a detail of the brass-rubbing addendum. My crime: to make mention of processing the image by tone inversion then 3D-engancement in Image J. I've failed I'm told to demonstrate that the 3D step produced 3D enhancement.

Correct. I never said it did. I simply showed the result after each of the two steps, and invited my readers to form their own judgement. In fact there is a small difference in the 'post 3D' image - i.e. shadiing effects that make the image less like a cartoon, clothing especially, faces too if one looks closely, more like a portrait, BUT I DID NOT SAY THAT. I simply left it at saying that the processed images were more 'life-like' and used that term immediately after the tone-inversion alone.

That site is becoming increasingly vexatious, especially for its constant attempts to trip me up on matters of pettifogging detail, and its systematic attempts to draw attention away from the main content and conclusions.

I shall be giving that dreary lacklustre site a miss from a while, having several ideas in the pipeline that I want to post here. I shan't bother to see how they have been subsequently mushed on that site, as indeed they will.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Turin Shroud looks for all the world like a man-made contact imprint, probably from a hot metal template, NOT the product of a supposed flash of radiation.

 This posting had an Introduction in draft stage, but to keep the length down, I've made that the subject of a separate posting, immediately preceding this one.

Preface to my next posting, one that pinpoints the liberties being taken with so-called modelling of Turin Shroud "cloth-body distances".

Here then, without further ado, are 10 reasons, based on Shroud Scope/Durante 2002 imagery, for thinking that the Turin Shroud is simply a contact print (think "rubber stamp").

1. The negative image (reversal of normal light/dark tonal values).

Skip this and other accompanying blurb in italics  if all you want to know is what's in the 10 point checklist of the title. Scroll down: look for the bold font against numbers 1-10 inclusive.

The negative double image is undoubtedly the most distinctive, dare one say iconic feature of the Turin Shroud. Was it a result of a 1st century miracle, or is there a more mundane explanation that fits with the radiocarbon dating  (1260-1390)?.I believe it is the latter. An attempt was made to simulate a "sweat imprint", a medieval fixation where claimed images of Jesus were concerned (hordes of pilgrims queued to see the "Veil of Veronica" despite it having no biblical provenance).

A sweat imprint, whether real or (more probably faked) has to be a negative image to stand any chance of being seen as credible. Any  medieval artisan , producing the  TS from scratch, would have, needed to ensure that any simulation of aged sweat would be a negative image, capturing highest relief only. He could not  afford to have it look like an ordinary painting, no matter how well executed.  So, no paint brush or brush marks. Instead:  find a means for imprinting onto linen from a 3D or semi-3D template, where only the highest parts of the relief, in direct contact with the cloth, leave behind a  "sweat-like" imprint. Thermal imprint, e.g. heat scorch? Maybe. Indeed that's the most probable, but chemical or thermochemical technologies, while having their difficulties,  are not excluded. (See the impressive Garlaschelli reproduction, using a 2-stage technique that is best described as first purely physical ("frottage") and then thermochemical (heat-assisted etching of linen with a presumed acid-contaminated ochre pigment used for frottage).


2. No imaging of sides of the body, or the top of head or even the sides of face, consistent with a “stamping action” with applied pressure acting best on horizontal over angled or vertical planes, and which does not need to invoke make-believe orthogonally-beamed collimated radiation. (Yeah, right).

Optional screed:  here's where the "rubber stamp" like imprinting technology comes into its own.  One has a template with two sides - upper /frontal  and lower /dorsal. One imprint, probably sequentially,  off those two surfaces, to simulate the enclosure of a corpe in an up-and-over shroud. Try explaining the twin-body result in terms of miraculous radiation. What kind of radiation could leave an image of the top and bottom surfaces but not the sides? How can it produce an image if there is no optical hardware for focusing or collimating the radiation?


3. No obvious difference in the imaging of  “hair” and “skin” suggesting use of heat-resistant template

"Hair" image (left); "skin" image( right). The two are indistinguishable.

Any prospective radiation model that has sufficient energy to permanently "scorch" linen (I use the term loosely) would surely singe hair, and if it didn't one would surely expect the imaged hair to look different from skin. But it does not. The "hair" on the TS is indistinguishable from the skin. The latter is easily explicable in a contact-only model: it was not a real person being imaged, but a representation of one, cast in metal or other heat/chemical resistant material. Both skin and hair were part of a textured template.


4. The baked-in twin-track crease at chin level.

Screed:    One of the most conspicuous but least commented-upon features of the TS image is the disfiguring furrow mark in the region of the chin and neck. (I say furrow, because it's twin track, but being 2D the term furrow is used loosely).

What is the explanation in a radiation model? Who knows?It is ignored.

It is NOT ignored in a contact-only model, because it is readily explained. Instead of linen being loosely draped over subject  as in  woolly obscurantist radiation models,  it is forcibly impressed against a 3D template in order to image the neck. That causes the fabric to make a sharp right-angle turn at the tip of the chin, trapping a fold of cloth, resulting in a baked-in crease. There is another consequence:


5. The complexity of the neck imaging (light/dark) banding, not be confused with "banding" due to weave/yarn differences, explicable as imaging of underside of chin as well as neck.

Probably no region of the TS image attracts more puzzlement and conflicting interpretation than the "neck", with some saying it's too long, others that "there's no neck".

The reason for the confusion is explained in a contact-imprinting model by recognizing that the TS image if NOT a photograph, but a 2D imprint off a 3D template in which arbitrary decisions had to made as to which complexities of 3D relief to imprint, which to ignore.

The neck was imprinted, visible as a dark transverse band that some descibe as a "collar". But above it is a lighter band. What is that? It is almost certainly the underside of the chin, linking the chin crease (No.4 above) and the neck.

"Could this be clinching evidence etc ... ?  See old posting (Feb 2013)

6. Probable imaging of the tips of the toes, explaining the absence of the rest of the foot due to tenting, aka short-cutting, i.e. loss of contact between cloth and 3D subject through following the diagonal of a triangle seen in cross section, avoiding the longer route that maintains contact. (There might be a better word than "tenting").

Late addition: yes there is. It's called BRIDGING. Maybe that's what I meant to say in the first instance,

Screed: the so-called missing foot is supposed to cross over onto the other (one nail for both feet has been suggested as I recall in pro-authenticity narratives). So why do we see something that could be the tips of toes (inside that admittedly tiny yellow oval at the bottom).

Cropped region:

Same, magnified at high contrast. Note the two blurred brown 'blobs' at the bottom. I propose they are the tips of toes, (Yes, that interpretation is model-driven, but at last it's not agenda-driven).

The imaging of toes (or just tips thereof) without imaging of the rest of the foot to which they are attached is precisely what is expected when a cloth drapes over legs and feet, the latter orthogonal in   the graphic below of a brass crucifix.

It is constistent, and indeed predictable, from imprinting mechanism in which direct physical contact is obligatory, i.e. no air gaps.

 Link to my toes posting:


7. The crossed hands – overlap of hands, gaps between fingers.(5)

Screed:  so how does one put the two rival mechanisms to a crucial trest - based on the TS image alone (theoretical considerations are another matter)?

Simple: the contact-imprinting method requires physical contact. If there's the slightest separation, the smallest air gap, there can be no imaging. Contrast that with radiation, which allows air gaps between cloth and body. There's  a proviso that is frequently cited on websites, namely that the cloth-body separation must not exceed 3-4cm (the theoretical basis for which is obscure). 

So all one has to do is seek out locations on the TS image where the cloth-body distance is smaller than 3-4 cm, but greater than zero, and see if there is imaging or not.

There is such a location - the crossed hands, resting on the abdomen. Let's deal with the hands first.

The height difference between two hands  is unlikely to exceee 3-4 cm. Despite falling within the allowable zone, there is a  non-imaged stripe at the junction of the two hands. That is explicable in the contact-only model, but not the radiation model, even with its seemingly arbitrary restriction on distance.

There's an even more telling test. It's the fingers. The TS fingers have long been the subject of interest, being "bony" and, some say, excessively long. The "boniness" is easily explained in the contact model. One can coat one's hand and fingers with a safe and convenient "paint"(I used  the predictably mirth-provoking Nutella chocolate spread) and despite holding fingers together one gets a TS- like imprint, seemingly with fingers spread.i.e separated. That is explicable by failure of cloth to penetrate each of the grooves between fingers. In a radiation model, there should be imaging across those very shallow grooves (less than 1cm in depth).

See the 'Nutella' spread posting , two before this one.
The bony looking fingers on the TS look as if splayed,  but can be modelled with hands that have fingers touching via contact imprinting.

Note there is scarcely any imaging where one of the crossed hands abuts on the other, explicable as "tenting" of linen, and thus no-imaging in a contact-only model that rejects the possibility of imaging across air gaps, as allowed in fanciful plucked-from-blue-sky radiation models.


8. Abdomen poorly imaged around crossed hands, due once more to a predictable tenting effect.

 High contrast image, designed to highlight the lack of image intensity on thighs and abdomen around the crossed hands, explicable as tenting of linen, and creation of air gaps that preventing contact-only imprinting.

Screed: this is closely related to the previous entry, and is dependent on the relatively small height difference between crossed hands over groin and neighbouring thighs and abdomen.

Note the relatively poor imaging in and around the cross hands, explicable in a contact-only image, where there was no manual pressure applied to achieve imaging right up to the contact zone of the hands.

The pale area is presumably explicable in the radiation model, but only by invoking that oft-cited-but-unquestioned 3-4cm rule.


9. Imaging of underside of one foot. 

Surprisingly, perhaps, the entire sole of one foot has been imaged from heel to toe. Manual turning of fabric around heel onto sole of foot by an artisan ? Washe determined to make a complete recognizable image, i.e. no mere "accident".

That speaks of close contact between cloth and body, indeed actual physical contact, that is unlikely to have occurred unless linen were manually and forcibly pressed against the sole. That's understandable in a contact-imprinting model in which the "subject" is first pressed into linen, maybe with a soft and yielding underlay, and to avoid a sudden cut-off at the heels (the last part still in contact) is then turned upwards through 90 degrees to imprint the entire sole of the foot as well.

Why should the sole be imprinted in a radiation model when neither the sides of the body nor the top of the head is imaged. Yes, one encounters a host of reasons, but they hedge the model around with any number of qualifying assumptions, making it less credible on practical as well as (non-addressed) theoretical reasons.


10. Pleasing result, at least aesthetically, when imaging off a  brass crucifix, with 3D enhancement.

Note that I made a deliberate attempt to image the soles of the feet (see previous entry), by turning the fabric up through 90 degrees, and thus avoiding an odd-looking cut-off at the heels.

It was looking at those images above, with the well-defined calves, but relatively poorly-defined thighs, that made this blogger think of those diagrams we see many times in the Shroud literature, illustrating assumptions about "cloth-body" distance. Here's just one, selected at random, to which I've added some spacer bars in yellow to highlight the 'problematic' region between pelvis and heels if, indeed, knees are drawn up:

Looking at that, would one not expect poor imaging of most of the thigh/calf region, even in a radiation model, or at any rate one in which there's said to be a cut-off at 3-4 cm. One does not need to stray far to the right of the buttocks in the above diagram, or to the left of the heels, for those yellow verticals to exceed 3-4cm in height.

Yet here's the TS image, too, dorsal view, showing the same preferential imaging of calves over thighs.The poor imaging of the thighs is understandable. But why the calves so well imaged?

Let's be absolutely certain of that intensity difference. Here are two more images, shown horizontally this time. The lower one has had a major adjustment of midtone values which tends to accentuate body image (blood too as well, but one tries to mentally subtract the scourge marks and other markings attributable to "blood".)

There seems little doubt in this blogger's mind that there is excessive image density in the calves relative to thighs to match the radiation model, even one that allows itself a 3-4 cm air gap.

How does one account for the differential imaging in a contact model, especially a contact-only model? That is not difficult, and it's to do with the underlying support surface, In the authenticity model, it is pictured, not unreasonably, as rigid and unyielding, being a stone shelf or similar. Not so in the 14th century scenario, where one starts with a rigid template from which one wishes to imprint as much of the surface relief as possible (but not the sides to avoid lateral distortion). How does one ensure that? One lays the linen sheet over several layers of sacking or similar (sand?) then presses the heated template down into yielding underlay. It's not difficult to see how one could image either calves, thighs or both, depending on the precise geometry of the template (knees raised higher or lower) and where one decides to apply most pressure. There will in any case be a tendency of the template to pivot of its own accord towards the heels, accentuating the calves, due to to expansive buttocks area acting as a fulcrum, aided by the small angular heels preferentially burrowing in..

Summary: I have listed 10 features that are visible in Shroud Scope/Durante2002 images of the Turin Shroud which do not accord well with imaging via projected radiation across air gaps, even small ones that have been restricted to 3-4cm. The images are better explained by supposing that there is no imaging across air gaps, and that non-imaged areas of the TS are due to loss of contact between a template and linen (the slightest air gap being sufficient to prevent imaging). What the template model loses through having relief  changes  in rigid metal, plaster, ceramic etc that are occasionally too abrupt to allow for imaging on a hard flat surface would be compensated for, at least partly, by the likelihood of there having been a soft, yielding underlay beneath the linen which allowed linen to make contact with more template 3D relief than would be the case on a hard surface.

Update 25 July:

Have just recalled, and tracked down the source of an intriguing observation that founding STURP member John P.Jackson *made in 1991 (my italics):

"A third problem arises in the comparison of the shading structures of the frontal and dorsal images. There are certain similarities between these images, for example, in color; however, there are noteworthy dissimilarities as well. The frontal image, appears as a blended, continuous shading structure that, as we have seen, contains a correlation with presumed cloth-body distance. The dorsal image, on the other hand, is discontinuous in shading and has a mosaic-like appearance; see Figure l b. We see, in particular, that the shoulder region is bounded by a sharp, discontinuous change in intensity. However, running through this boundary, is a pattern of scourge marks. Since these marks contain dried blood material, they could only have been placed onto the cloth by direct contact. Accordingly, if the body image was correlated with cloth-body distance over the same several centimeter range deduced for the frontal image, the sharp discontinuity would not have occurred. Rather, we would have observed, at most, a blended intensity variation from the base of the shoulders to a several percent lower intensity in the small of the back. Instead, we see a complete and abrupt dropout of intensity at the base of the shoulders into the lower back region. Thus, the dorsal image has an intensity structure more like a direct contact image than one that is correlated with cloth-body distances over centimeter range as for the frontal image."

 More later on Jackson's 'collapsing cloth' paper, which I have to say is not an easy read for this simple science bod, so I'm going out now, and may be gone some time.

However, I will say this immediately: there is a most fundamental flaw in that author's approach. He cites the evidence of bloodstain distribution and patterns to claim that the Shroud must have enveloped a real human body, and then goes on to match the body image with that presumed "real body". I leave readers to draw their own conclusions, but here's a tiny clue: most successful applications of science to unfamiliar problems set out by adopting a ruthlessly reductionist approach. Holistic remedies are usually invoked much later when the reductionist approach has failed to deliver answers to the questions posed (caveat: sometimes it's the framing of the questions that is wrong, or not amenable to scientific enquiry).

*now Director of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado (link given against Jackson's name). There on its website you will find the following under the Research tab:

"The Turin Shroud Center of Colorado (TSC) seeks to understand both the scientific and theological attributes of the Shroud from a comprehensive and unified perspective. This is made possible only if the research methods of these two major disciplines are respected and properly integrated. Difficulties arise when research activities of one discipline intrude into the legitimate domain of the other. The human mind is capable of asking six questions concerning reality: "who, what, where, when, how, and why". We consider that science pertains to essentially addressing the first five questions using the empirical/theoretical standard described by the scientific method. Theology relates, however to the last "why" question which is a matter of meaning. Science proceeds by an empirical analysis that is rooted in physical observation of nature, ultimately through the sensory apparatus of the human body. Theology, on the other hand proceeds by the rational analysis of the spiritual human soul of that revealed to it by God. TSC accepts these two disciplines as legitimate approaches to human understanding and insists that the domains of each are properly respected in its studies of the Turin Shroud and related artifacts."

How does one "properly integrate" research methodology in science and theology?
As I've said already, "theoscience" for want of a better name (sciency theology?) simply ain't science, which is why I'm in no hurry to dissect that "collapsing cloth" theory. When I do, it will be with a view to hoovering up useful facts, like that intriguing reference above to a qualitative difference in character between frontal and dorsal body images (for which there may be a simple explanation in a template-imprinting scenario - clue "LOTTO" for the cognoscenti).

Second update: 25 July

That quoted paragraph from John P Jackson is  PURE GOLD DUST!!

I'm already mentally composing a new post with the following title.

There are grounds for thinking that the TS image was made by simultaneous imprinting of both frontal and dorsal surfaces (LOTTO and LUWU configurations respectively).

LOTTO (for frontal imprinting) = Linen On Top, Then Overlay

  LUWU (for dorsal imprinting) = Linen Underneath, With Underlay

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Preface to my next posting, one that pinpoints the liberties being taken with so-called modelling of Turin Shroud "cloth-body distances".

 What could be a more established unquestioned, unchallenged tenet of Shroud (pseudo)science than the notion that variations in image intensity are related to cloth-body distance? Try googling (shroud “cloth-body distance”) and see the 4 pages pages of returns, 10 entries per page, all deploying, or as I would say, bandying around, those words “cloth-body distance”.

 Remove the search-narrowing quotation marks  and there are 30 pages of returns in Google (its maximum?) with enshrined  references to cloth/distance/body, not necessarily in that order.


2nd entry ( “The point is that the intensity I correlates with cloth body distance (which is ...

3rd entry:   G.Fazio (recently enjoined with Yannick Clement): “…tion between image intensity and cloth-body distance, shows codified information re-.”

4th entry:    “The empirical fact that the Shroud frontal body image is highly correlated with cloth-body distance presents major problems for hypotheses describing the origin ...£

5th entry:  Mark Antonacci, 2001:   In addition, to encode all of the body image and off—image ... in the number (density) of engraved lines that represent cloth-body distance, ...
6th entry: NASA   The controversial shroud is a 4 1/2 meter, 7.62 centimeter long linen cloth that .... to white) and cloth-body distance, Air Force Academy professors and students ...

6th entrytheshroudofturin.blogspot   Figure 2 shows how the image intensity on the Shroud can be converted to a three-dimensional plot of cloth-body distance by a single ...”

7th entry: Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince:   “… and begs the question of whether or not the Shroud ever enveloped a real ... They took their measurements of cloth-body distance manually from ...”

and so it goes on…

Btw: the 1st entry was to my specialist TS site. No liberties were being taken with "cloth-body distance " there.

Anyone perusing these entries could be forgiven for assuming  there was a general consensus that image intensity was related to cloth-body distance.

Well, Houston, we have a problem. How do we know what the cloth-body distance was at the instant of image imprinting? Or what was being imprinted:  a real person, living or dead, or even a bronze or plaster model thereof? How was the image being imprinted (by  unspecified "radiation" conveniently able we are told to project across air gaps, or boring old heat conduction, that cannot do so, needing direct physical contact, nor miracles)? Was the cloth simply draped loosely over the subject, like a dust cover? Or was it wrapped tightly around the subject, maybe with additional securing strips? Or was the “subject” pressed into linen, or the linen pressed against the “subject|” so as to get a better contact for imprinting by direct contact?

If one cannot answer those questions, then how on earth can “cloth-body” distance be reliably estimated, far less used to “explain” the Shroud image, as if the latter were simply a photograph taken with exotic light/or other mysterious radiation source, somehow focused or collimated onto linen with no external optical hardware, and somehow able to pyrolyse linen in a precise and metered fashion as to produce a faithful Xerox copy of the original.

It was through addressing these issues that this researcher came to realize that “cloth-body distance” was at the root of what can only be described  as “pseudo-science”. Instead of looking at an image, and attempting to deduce cloth-body distance, those pro-authenticity models, if one can so dignify something so agenda-driven, were being used to estimate cloth-body distances from a wholly imaginary standpoint, and those measurements were then being used to “explain” why some Shroud  features were more easily visible than others. As I say, it's pseudo-science, or more charitably, theoscience, which has now become received wisdom in the stagnant confines of Shroudology's so-called congresses,, with those words cloth-body distance being deployed mantra-like as if they were real measurements taken at the instant of image-imprinting.Thus the reams of pages when one googles that term, with scarcely a word of criticism.

As already indicated, there is an alternative to the pro-authenticity model, one that rejects the idea of cloth being loosely draped or tied around a real human being. It takes the radiocarbon dating as the starting point. It is a viewpoint that needs to be heard. Otherwise the purveyors of pseudo-science will continue to foist their convenient assumptions as if they were fixed parameters that no one should even think of challenging (certainly not at the succession of dreary shroud congresses that come most years, all attempting to sustain the same played-out fiction).

Time now to re-examine the TS image, detail by detail, and to ask at each step: what is the image telling us about cloth-body distance. More to the point, is there ANY imaging at places where it’s unlikely there was actual physical contact between subject and cloth? If the image characteristics are consistent with imaging-by-contact only, then references to “cloth-body distance” need to be ruthlessly purged from the literature (the scientific literature that is).  What any prospective "Journal of Theoscience" wishes to say is its business. 

Update Thursday: here's the main posting to which the above was a ground-preparing preface. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Turin Shroud looks for all the world like a man-made contact imprint, probably from a hot metal template, NOT the product of a supposed flash of radiation.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Here, in just 10 sentences, is a summary for fellow sceptics/iconoclasts of my current thinking re that grotesquely over-hyped Turin Shroud.

1. The admittedly provisional radiocarbon dating says the TS is 13th/14th century, so,  leaving aside the increasingly desperate attempts on the part of diehard defenders of 1st century authenticity to discredit the (admittedly preliminary single-shot) data from 1988, that makes the TS approx 700 years old - way, way more youthful than 2000.

2.While it’s anyone’s guess at the original reason for creating the Shroud with the appearance of a  ‘scorched-on’ double image, it quickly began to be seen and promoted as a giant life-size version of another crowd-drawing icon, or maybe holy ‘relic’ – the fabled Veil of Veronica, the latter allegedly and no doubt fancifully bearing a sweat imprint of the face of Jesus, captured by a lady bystander as Jesus bore his cross.

3. When in 1357  the TS was first displayed in the tiny French village of Lirey attracting not only hordes of pilgrims but profound misgivings on the part of the Church, it was intended to be seen as a sweat imprint on a burial shroud; to help promote that belief an inset image of the Veil of Veronica was added to the Lirey Pilgrim's badge (essentially a tourist souvenir) above the word “suaire”, the latter with connotations of “sweat”.

4. 250 years later, the founder of the Salesian order, now known as  St.Francis de Sales, writing to his mum from Annecy of his visit to Turin to pay homage to the Shroud, used the word “sweat”, referring to his own and that of Jesus, no less than 7 times*, but you would never know from current “shroudiie” literature that the TS was originally viewed essentially as an image formed simply with sweat, at least initially

5. If one accepts the radiocarbon dating, and the view that the TS was perceived and promoted as an image formed in sweat, then the negative character of the TS image immediately makes sense, being an imprint that after ageing and yellowing would have captured only the most prominent features of a face and body, those that would intercept and reflect most light in modern-day  photographic “positive”.
Some sweat imprints have an amazing ability to morph spontaneously over time into photograph-like positives, but not so the Shroud of Turin. (Francisco de Zurbara, the Veil of Veronica).

6. So the TS image is not, and never was intended to be viewed as one would a painting or a modern photograph, but as a sweat imprint of the recently-deceased founder of Christianity, an image that trumped the crowd-drawing Veil of Veronica’s image, similarly captured it was suggested by a similar sweat-imprinting mechanism a day or two earlier on the road to Calvary.

7. In asking how a medieval artist, or merely artisan, would have set out to manufacture a fake burial shroud with an entire body sweat imprint of both sides of a body, one has to consider a gamut of possible art-and-craft techniques and technologies, ranging from simulated sweat, possibly some kind of acidic paste, (e.g. acting in a Luigi Garlaschelli-proposed mechanism) on and discolouring linen to leave a negative image or (more audaciously) a shortcut method that used a heated metal template to produce a faint surface scorch that could be passed off as ancient sweat.
I and my helpers are continuing to experiment with whole-body imprinting, using pigment as a more user-friendly substitute for thermal energy.

8. A variety of evidence suggests that the TS image WAS produced by imprinting off a template in a manner that left a negative image, as distinct from being produced freehand, with a particular detail - the peculiar crossed hands -  providing the most compelling evidence , i.e. the seemingly bony fingers and lack of thumbs, both of which are easily modelled used real live hands and any imprinting medium, even Nutella spread.

TS hands left (skeletal fingers, no thumbs) modelled on right using my own hands(note again the diagnostic absence of thumb and gaps between fingers, despite my fingers being together during imprinting with the sophisticated non-allergenic pigment medium)

9. The STURP team could find no evidence that the TS image was painted, based on the absence of known pigments (with one dissenting voice, that of the ‘maverick' hastily-dumped Walter McCrone) and was forced to assume that the TS image was some kind of degradation of the surface fibres, or coating substance, of the linen, approximating in chemical constitution to dehydrated carbohydrates, and thus not dissimilar to a heat scorch.

One picture (OK, a composite of 4) can be worth a thousand words. But note the take-away message of this posting - namely that a heat or other scorch could have been used to model a proxy sweat imprint - which centuries later displays precisely the same behaviour in modern photography on  light/dark inversion to produce a more attractive image, one that the originators made possible through use of a template for image-imprinting, NOT painting with pigment.

10. A sensible working hypothesis is that the TS image was produced by some kind of thermal, or maybe thermochemical process that captured the image off a 3D template (a bronze statue or bas relief, or combination of the two? ) that left a negative image with 3D-enhancible properties on the linen, one that was seen originally as a sweat imprint, with none of today’s wild too-clever-by-half theorizing about miraculous flashes of  radiation (miraculous not just for emanating spontaneously from the mortal remains of a bloodied victim of crucifixion,  or so goes the narrative, but also for imprinting  across air gaps between cloth and body) or less aesthetic models based on migration of  chemically-reactive putrefaction products.

(Sorry about the length of some of my sentences, but I only cheated once with that semi-colon in No.3.). I’ll be back later to add references, and maybe a few images. For now, I want folk to be absolutely clear as to where this sceptic is at, since the style of my blogging as a real-time research project may have caused misunderstanding to creep in. Yesterday was a case in point, when it became obvious that my Nutella experiment  reported here just 3 days ago was viewed as a move away from thermal imprinting towards some kind of pigment-based one. No so – the Nutella was simply a means of quickly showing the kind of imprint that would have been left by the hands of a heated life-sized bronze crucifix had they been pressed down into linen. This blogger/retired biomedical scientist still believes that the TS image is essentially a thermal imprint, though that does not preclude the possibility of some chemical assistance, e.g. the invisible ink effect that can be achieved at low temperature with, say, lemon juice, the subject of a much earlier posting. Btw - I have omitted non-essential detail. notably a possible Templar connection that might have produced a Mark 1 TS to represent a slow-roasted Jacques de Molay. That image could have been re-invented as an image of the crucified Jesus by judicious addition of blood in all the biblically-correct places, but I have not rejected the possibility that the TS image was made-to-order to represent Jesus with no Templar connection).

*   Annecy,  4 May 1614. (Note the writer's focus, some might say, obsession, with bodily sweat).

Whilst waiting to see you, my very dear Mother, my soul greets yours with a thousand greetings. May God fill your whole soul with the life and death of His Son Our Lord! At about this time, a year ago, I was in Turin, and, while pointing out the Holy Shroud among such a great crowd of people, a few drops of sweat fell from my face on to this Holy Shroud itself. Whereupon, our heart made this wish: May it please You, Saviour of my life, to mingle my unworthy sweat with Yours, and let my blood, my life, my affections merge with the merits of Your sacred sweat! My very dear Mother, the Prince Cardinal was
somewhat annoyed that my sweat dripped onto the Holy Shroud of my Saviour; but it came to my heart to tell him that Our Lord was not so delicate, and that He only shed His sweat and His blood for them to be mingled with ours, in order to give us the price of eternal life. And so, may our sighs be joined with His, so that they may ascend in an odour of sweetness before the Eternal Father.
But what am I going to recall? I saw that when my brothers were ill in their childhood, my mother would make them sleep in a shirt of my father’s, saying that the sweat of fathers was salutary for children. Oh, may our heart sleep, on this holy day, in the Shroud of our divine Father, wrapped in His sweat and in His blood; and there may it be, as if at the very death of this divine Saviour, buried in the sepulchre, with a constant resolution to remain always dead to itself until it rises again to eternal glory. We are buried, says the Apostle, with Jesus Christ in death here below, so that we may no more live according to the old life, but according to the new. Amen.

Francis, Bishop of Geneva
The 4th of May 1614

That's St.Francis de Sales, about whom I may have a few more words to say in connection with the announcement from the Turin custodians of a surprisingly-long public/private exhibition of the  Shroud scheduled for 2015, the sketchy details of which, to say nothing of an intriguing subtext re a "hoped-for" visit from the new Pope have raised some eyebrows, this blogger's included. 

Francis de Sales (from wiki) 

"There he made up his mind about becoming a priest. Intelligent and handsome, he went through various conversion experiences that moved his heart to serve God rather than money or the world. In one incident, he rode a horse, and his sword fell to the ground and crossed another sword, making the sign of the Christian cross.  He interpreted this and other signs as a call from Jesus Christ to a life of sacrifice and self-giving love for the Church".

So what would our Francis have done with his life, one wonders, had the two swords formed an equally probable L, T or V?  L for licentiousness? T for timewasting? V for vagabondage? The possibilities were endless, at least in the English language.

Update: 10:40 still 19 July

I have added some images, as flagged up earlier. This might be a uitable opportunity to repsond briefly to some critical comment from Thibault Heimburger recently. I'm still waiting for a response to my considered reply, and have not forgotten that he is requesting a full critique of the second of his anti-scorch pdfs.

Well, it's for me to order my own priorities, and previous attempts to criticize his work, especially on what I regard as unsuitable methodology leading to false conclusions, have drawn a blank. however, i cannot let pass his claim that it is only intense scorches that are 3D-enhancible.

Here are some cut-and-paste images form his pdf2 that he provides by way of evidence:

That's his lighter scorch on the left, heavier on the right, from a heated metal template (see below)

This is what he sees after applying 3D rendering in Image J, though the other way round (heavy scorch left, lighter scorch right). Based on this comparison, one might indeed think that it is only heavy scorches that respond to 3D.

But that is not the case.  Here's what I obtain when I take TH's lighter scorch, and first adjust contrast and brightness in MS Office Picture Manager before uploading to ImageJ. Note the much improved 3D enhancement. TH seems to imagine that images for 3D rendering have to be entered 'as is'. Why? On what grounds.  One is justified in pre-processing an image if that assists 3D-rendering (which is an entirely man-made operation, given that 2D objects like flags can be rendered as 3D purely as a consequence of their light/dark contrasts, as I showed recently. I'm sure that a a skilled photo-editing specialist could improve considerably my enhancement above, obtained using standard home/office photo editing software.
Oh, and just to reiterate a previous point, the ability to give 3D enhancement to an image does not mean that it contains embedded and/or encoded 3D information, as shown by entering images that have no 3D history, but merely a range of tonal contrasts.

Having said that, there's a much better chance of obtaining a realistic life-like result, starting with a contact  imprint ("impactograph") off a reasonably accurate 3D template (whether obtained in life, or death, or, in the case of my preferred thermal imprinting, off a metal effigy) than from a painting. I say that for the benefit of those who still consider the TS to be some kind of painting, including those ingenious albeit heavily qualified models that imagine the paint has flaked off with age leaving some kind of ghost image on the linen.

Update Sun 20th July

Here's a response I have just made to a comment from kiwi "daveb" on

July 20, 2014 at 3:50 am
Thanks too for your detailed reply to my detailed reply, daveb, even if I profoundly disagree with most of its contentions. As before, it’s not possible to respond to all points. Let’s focus on the most crucial aspect, namely that “permissible” 3-4 cm air gap, routinely conjured up, at least on the internet, like a Hogwarts magical spell (or missile-deflecting force field if your prefer Star Wars to Harry Potter).
At least you agree that there’s a non-imaged zone around the hands (Giulio Fanti please note) but then you qualify that by saying, in effect “Ah, but it’s not very wide, and there’s still some belly visible”.
In my book, not written by J.K.Rowling, if there’s no contact, then there’s no imaging. That’s the uncompromising contact model of image-imprinting, the one I am defending against proposed (or more generally assumed) magical mystery radiation-imaging.
Note the self-denying ordinance. Defending the contact-image model requires far greater self-discipline than the oh-so-malleable radiation model, one that self-indulgently allows imaging in expected non-contact zones provided the air gaps don’t exceed the generously-provisioned 3-4 cm air gap.
OK, so that forces me to confine attention to locations where any air gap is expected to be less than the pseudo-scientific 3-4cm fudge factor. But if one sees failure to image, no matter how restricted the zone, then that’s it for the radiationist school of thought, correction, fantasizing. Puff of white smoke – gone. Poetic justice, some might think.
There is indeed just such a location (shame there aren’t more). What’s more it’s plain for all to see on those crossed hands. Look carefully at the region where the edge of the more visible upper hand overlaps the hand it covers..
I’ll add a labelled photograph to my site, then copy-and-paste its location here in a comment to follow later, maybe not till later in the day (social engagements).
Prepare to be put on the spot, all you shameless proponents of radiation modelling who through deploying your magical 3-4 cm smokescreen have got away with mystery-mongering for far too long, bringing science and scientists into disrepute.

Here's the crucial graphic, showing a non-imaged zone in the angle between the two crossed hands (yellow rectangle), exactly as expected in a contact-imaging model.

Click on image to enlarge. Note the pale area due to expected tenting of fabric across the junction of the two hands.
 Why should it exist in a radiation model, which permits imaging to occur where air gaps do not exceed 3-4cm?  Is the step difference more than 3-4 cm between one hand and another? I'll check later with my steel rule, but for now it looks like curtains for that hugely self-indulgent radiation model that I've always regarded as an egregious example of pseudoscience, but never had the damning evidence until now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It seems so obvious now (why the Man on the Turin Shroud has bony fingers and no thumbs). The image is NOT a photograph. It's an 'impactograph'.

Not for nothing is this site called 'science buzz'. I and other experimentalists get a real buzz out of research. One gets up in the morning, not knowing what each day will bring. Nothing in science is predictable, cut-and-dried. All is a glorious and uncertain state-of-flux, which no doubt irritates those with excessively tidy minds with everything neatly pigeon-holed.

Yesterday provided a perfect illustration, leading to today's triumphant post. I was being got at by someone on, to explain the fingers on the Turin Shroud. When it became increasingly difficult to understand precisely what I was being asked to explain, a sudden thought entered my head - why not do a simple EXPERIMENT to cut through the semantic fog?

Here's the result, reported as an addendum to the previous post.

Yes, they are hand prints, my hands, using a highly sophisticated imprinting medium known only to a tiny, er,  handful, of science bods like myself (Nutella chocolate/hazelnut spread).

The image on the left was produced by coating the back of my hand, being careful to go in-between fingers too, then laying cotton sheet on top, then using the other hand to mould fabric to the contours, while all the time KEEPING FINGERS TOGETHER.

The image on the right was produced with reverse geometry: after coating the back of the hand, the hand was then placed back-side DOWN i.e. palm up, onto the cotton, and pressed firmly, without any rocking motion.

It's that second mode of presentation that gives the fascinating result - with an imprint that would have the observer believe that the fingers were thin and bony AND with spaces, ie.air gaps between them, which was not the case.

Close up of the press-down presentation

Now compare with the crossed hands on the Turin Shroud, the fingers of which have been the subject of so much interest (to say nothing of wild speculation),

TS hands: Durante 2002 image from Shroud Scope, with extra contrast in MS Office Picture Manager

Conclusions: 1 The fingers are NOT bony. They are exactly as one would expect if produced as a contact imprint ("impactograph") under applied pressure, modelled as in my Nutella spread experiment.

2. The thumbs are absent for a very simple reason. Place your hand down on a surface with the palm up. Is your thumb touching the surface? Answer: if it's a typical hand, then NO, except the very tip of the thumb maybe.

To think I've been researching the TS for some 30 months, but did not think of doing yesterday's simple experiment before, and only did so when coming under sniper fire.

I love research. While I occasionally brag about new ideas, new results, research teaches one humility - constantly reminding one of limitations  to say nothing of mental lacunae, blind spots etc

There was another rewarding discovery today for this science blogger. Some 28 years ago he published the very first research paper in the peer-reviewed science literature devoted specifically to "resistant starch", arguing that it should be regarded as a legitimate contribution to dietary fibre (which brought him into conflict not just with other scientists but his own paymasters at the then Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, "MAFF" for short).


Heat processed foods can contain appreciable amounts of resistant starch (RS) that have the ability to survive prolonged incubation with alpha-amylase and other amylolytic enzymes. The occurrence of RS has important implications for dietary fibre (DF) determination and, possibly, for human bowel physiology also. Studies using cereal and potato starches have identified three key factors that influence yields of RS after heat-processing, ie amylose content, processing temperature and water content. The highest yields of RS (20-34% of total dry weight) were obtained from amylomaize starches, either raw or processed, and from amylopectin starches (32-46% RS) after incubation with alpha -(1->6)de-branching enzyme (pullulanase) followed by heat-processing. In contrast, the lowest yields of RS (0.2-4.2%) were obtained from intact (ie non-debranched amylopectins), with or without heat-processing. Yields of RS from wheat starch were affected primarily by processing temperature, reaching levels of about 9% in a single cycle of autoclaving at 134°C with excess water and subsequent cooling (cf levels of less than 1% in uncooked wheat starch) and higher levels still (about 15%) after 5 repeated cycles of autoclaving and cooling. A similar increase in yields of RS was seen in dilute (1%) starch suspensions that were subjected to repeated cycles of heating to 100°C, followed by cooling and storage. The time of storage after gelatinisation was only important in these dilute systems: levels of RS in freshly-prepared concentrated starch gels(typically 57-67% H20) or in white bread did not alter significantly on storage.

There was one interview with the Independent's science correspondent (John Emsley) on his home ground at Kings College London, way back in 86.  But resistant starch never really attracted the attention of the UK media, until that is TODAY.  Hooray. Yes, there's a front page article in the Daily Mail that not only mentions resistant  starch, but advises people to select foods high in RS (green bananas etc). Steady on chaps.

In fact the write-up,  indeed quoted words from the Liverpool expert, are not quite right as regards detail. One can't describe resistant starch (RS) as "soluble dietary fibre", since it's a form of insoluble re-crystallized starch (it's reckoned to be linear short chain double helical starch fragments).  But it does behave like soluble DF, inasmuch as it is easily fermented in the lower bowel, and much importance attaches to the fact that is becomes degraded partly to the 4-carbon butyric acid that, unusually,  is a metabolic fuel for the epithelial cells lining the bowel, a splendid example of symbiosis, possibly, probably associated with protection against bowel cancer.

Incidentally, the successors to MAFF recently agreed that resistant starch IS dietary fibre, and has stated that during a transition period when people are still using analytical methods for dietary fibre that fail to measure resistant starch, they must incorporate a "fudge factor" that estimates the resistant starch as part of total DF for labelling purposes. But why has it taken 30 years for that to happen. despite the EURESTA (European Resistant Starch) inter-laboratory collaborative studies and other work that showed years ago that RS behaves as DF. It's because people get wedded to ideas and can't let them go, even when confronted with overwhelming evidence to the contrary. That I'm afraid is the downside to science, and why I for one would never encourage any school leaver to make a career in specialist scientific research, at least in the UK with its media and even public antipathy to science and scientists (don't get me started).

Late addition: Tuesday 23:00

Have just spotted this quote from Professor Giulio Fanti that he made in the course of an interview with regular "Louis", or to give the latter his full name (supplied on that posting): Louis C. de Figueiredo

"Radiation has been proposed as the source of the body image because we know that the image also resides where body-cloth contact is not possible, for example in the zone between the nose and the cheek or between the hands and the belly, therefore I agree with it."

The question of contact v non-contact areas between cloth and 'body' is one that readers of my  blog will know has occupied me greatly in the course of the last few postings. It's crucial to my belief that the TS image is best described as an impactograph, or more simply, a pressure imprint, the imprinting medium and/or energy source being a matter for conjecture. So here we have one of shroudology's most celebrated authenticity-exponents attempting to dismiss contact imprinting in  a sentence or two, referring to just two specific sites on the TS frontal image.

Do these words stand up to close scrutiny?

I say no, and for the following reasons:

First point: quote: "body-cloth contact not possible in the zone between the nose and the cheek" ? Does that refer to a cloth that is loosely draped over the face such that there is ‘tenting’ from the bridge of the nose to the cheek bone, creating an air gap? 

 But who says that cloth is loosely draped?  Given the radiocarbon dating one has to at least acknowledge the possibility that the image WAS made by human hands.  Whatever the nature of the imprinting process, it would have lacked for detail if the material had carelessly been allowed to tent  (i.e. shortcut) between prominences. So a conscious effort would have been made to ensure there was moulding of fabric around important contours. 

Now there are two ways that could be achieved in the case of the frontal body, face included. One is to press the subject down into linen, with some kind of soft underlay, such that fabric conforms to relief better than would be the case if simply draped over the top. The second, leaving nothing to chance, is to place linen on top of subject and then use fingers to manually press and mould the fabric around all the important contours. 

Here's a series of progressive enlargements of the nose are, starting with the high resolution Face Only option in Shroud Scope, with additional contrast (-7,100,0 Brightness/Contrast/Midtone value  in MS Office Picture Manager):

 Here, for the sake of completeness, is the first in the series after light/dark inversion in ImageJ:

 I'd have added a 3D photo-edit  from ImageJ, but there was scarcely any useful or photogenic enhancement of the above picture. Indeed the end-result seemed to be artefactual distortion more than anything else.

What do these pictures tell us, if anything, about the extent of tenting between bridge of nose and cheek?

ed: I'll need some time to think about that - expect to see some extra words added here later today (message timed at 06:38 Wed 16 July) 

07:11  Back again.  Frankly  I fail to see why Fanti has drawn particular attention to the imaging of the nose and its immediate surrounds. I think the nose looks somewhat wider, dare one say impacted, than might a real nose in a real photograph, but that has to be conjecture, not having seen the subject in life,  or death for that matter. Looking at the series of enlargements, the only sound conclusion would be that the imaging of the nose results in a fairly homogenous distribution of pixels that incorporates little information content as to the 3D nature of the original subject, and indeed the 2D image responded poorly to ImageJ in its 3D mode. 

My overall conclusion: the nose tells one nothing about the likely mechanism of imaging - whether imprinted by direct contact or by that 'mysterious' unspecified radiation. If Professor Fanti thinks it does, then he should explain his thinking in greater detail, since it's not in my view self-evident despite having  accumulated hours, nay days or even weeks of poring over  and scrutinizing closely Shroud Scope images.

Second point: image “also resides between hands and belly”? 

Really? The predominant impression one gets from looking at positive images is surely the low image intensity in and around the crossed hands, suggesting in this instance that tenting did occur (or was tolerated), whether the linen was underneath or on top of the subject.

I've shown Shroud Scope images previously, with captions that draw the viewer's attention to pale zones in the lower abdominal area around the crossed hands.

So at to leave no doubt in the viewer's mind. I've just this minute entered the same graphic into MS Office Picture Manager, first setting the brightness/contrast/midtone value to my preferred standard values (-7,100,15), and then, keeping the first two numbers constant, steadily decreasing the midtone intensity, a device for delineating zones of exceptionally high image intensity.

Here's the sequence:





There seems little doubt that there is indeed a pale, poorly imaged zone around those crossed hands. The belly region contiguous to those crossed hands is not, repeat NOT well imaged as claimed by Giulio Fanti. The fact it is not well imaged is precisely what is expected of a contact model , with the minor qualifying assumption that unlike the nasal region earlier, no deliberate attempt was made on this occasion to image around the crossed hands, as might have been possible in the Linen-On-Top procedure.It's a large area, and any attempt at moulding on and around those crossed hands risked rucking the fabric, producing unsightly creases.